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Vol, 3 No. 41
SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 1973 ..
ONE FROM PNM LEAVES NOUGHT
NO SOONER had Tapia de-
clared its readiness to take the
power than the Little King
out off and ran. We will not
even have to go the distance
now and win the match on
points as planned.
To the ailing government the
current choices are exactlywhat they
have always been. First, they can
call a Constituent Assembly with
Wooding in the Chair, with the
Commission as the Secretariat and
with the Draft Report as the work-
Williams has been so palpably
dependent on Tapia for his inspira-
tion that he is probably glad to get
out within any further fudging. But
the man is so bent on destroying
his own party that he could well
decide to summon the Assembly
as his parting shot.
If he does not, his successor
would not dare to call it; he will
not have the strength to profit
The second choice would be to
call an election to bring in a
government which would deal with
the Report of the Wooding Com-
mission. Such an election would re-
solve nothing if Tapia and the rest
of the new movement declined to
throw their weight behind it. But in
any case, there are dangers in
holding any such election.
The one chance which no PNM
Leader could ever take would be to
let the conventional opposition get
hold of office. There is too much
bitterness and grudge at work for
the party to let any of their own
kind secure the whip of State.
The terror which PNM have
mounted against the militant
unions and the new movement
through repressive industrial, emer-
gency and public order legislation
must make them apprehensive of
their future if any fragment of the
old regime were to capture power.
The same brand of politics
could only produce the same brand
of rope; only a movement that is
addressed to fundamental change
will have no time for such re-
crimination and revenge.
How could men who stood in
the Legislature for many years and
who, from both sides of the House,
accepted that there should be no
radio and TV time for opposition,
now bring any generosity to bear?
In terms of pure self-interest
PNM's only hope must be to sup-
port the unconventional movement
to bring the February Revolution
to its climax.
But even if they decided to
proceed according to the old con
ventions, they would have to con-
sider whether their illegitimate Par-
liament would enjoy the authority
to amend the existing electoral
rules. Suppose this Parliament re-
jected proportional representation,
independence for the Elections
Commission and automatic regis-
tration of all voters under 18,
,- Election ?
-The next PM?
would the country peacefully accept
that decision? And would the coun-
try accept electoral reform and a
new election before the constitu-
tional issue has been settled?
And then there is the military
risk involved. An election campaign
which failed to involve the un-
ventional political forces could turn
out to be a cause of violence and
blood if only because the adminis-
tration would lack the moral autho-
rity to insist on law and order.
The only people who could
conceivably be hoping for this are
those intransigent devotees of re-
action who are doubtless lurking in
the shadows and preparing a junta
and a coup.
Against this background, the
government will most probably have
to chinks.That is always the simplest
thing to do especially when you
cannot see your way ahead. Wil-
lams for one, has chinksed for
good. This Great Captain Leader
has abandoned ship in full confusion
leaving his party little option but
to play for time.
Se ae- S S
WHAT IS this "political solu-
tion" that Tapia is talking about?
As he came to the end of
his address last Friday night in
Tunapuna,Tapiaman Lloyd Best
gave the answer.
He had already warned of
the dangers of a military solu-
tion, a catastrophe that would
leave an unforgettable mark on
the memory of Trinidad and
The political solution, he said,
would be when the population comes
out in "a grand remonstrance" as in
1970. That is, when the overwhelming
majority of people could see clearly
"on what side their bread is buttered"
we would come out into the streets
in our numbers.
That would be a show of strength
greater by far than__.the _egime.'s
military forces, nor would they dare
to obstruct the will of the people at
But had this not taken place be-
fore? Did not Best himself refer to
1919, 1937, 1956 and 1970 when
the population took thinks in our
own hands and massed to confront
Yes, That had taken place before,
but each time, as Best showed,
ve turned to a man, a messiah and
.rusted him completely to finish the
job for us.
"This business of trusting one
man to finish the job is the mistake we
must avoid like the plague this time
and never make again" Best stressed.
We must have a plan, he added,
that involves us all in winning our
own deliverance. That is why the
main Tapia proposal for reform of
the Constitution was insisting on a
Permanent Conference of Citizens.
The Tapia Secretary had begun
by reminding the audience that since
1969 the Tapia strategy had been
to build a long-term movement that
would finally bring 70 or 80 thousand
people into the public square. And
the PNM paper, The Nation, had
commented on it then.
"But look how we scrunting
here tonight with only a few hundred
on the corner of the street .. Is the
Police who have people fraid .
With no support, the governing party
does bring out thousands and thou-
sands of people They have crash
programme, better village, project
work and Prime Minister this and
that. And in that old time conventional
politics, who have more corn feed
But the time is coming, continued
Lloyd Best, when the new national
movement will bring out the strength
The Tapia Secretary then men-
tioned some of our key proposals
for national reconstruction in the
SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 1973
BY HIS OWN admission Williams has left
the country and the region in a shambles.
So far from making good his boast of
establishing a party, he has left behind a
flagrantly corrupt and incompetent oligar-
chy, disorganised and ignoble in every
The inter-racial solidarity which was promised
in the early halcyon years has culminated in a
fanatic Afro-Saxon club, as fiercely jealous of the
Indians who have succeeded to the European
and Syrian business elite as it is contemptuous of
the Indians who have languished at the bottom.
The predicament of this African elite is that
it dares not shed a tear in public after 17 years
of power under the Greatest Doctor Leader ever.
If they have had their self-confidence demo-
lished, if they have been tainted by all the
bribery and corruption and yet have secured no
pillars in the world of business, who but their
own monster has wreaked the havoc?
Above all, Williams, the master-builder, has
left no constituency among the young for those
unfortunate greenhorns who will succeed him.
The idealism of youth which his speeches sparked
in the 1950's needed the service of libraries and
of archives, of new textbooks and curricula,
of museums and theatres, of publishing houses
and media of communication pointing our noses
into higher realms.
The youth needed intellectual purpose and
direction, emotional and spiritual support, a rele-
vant dream by which to live. It found only a
house-slave and schoolmaster, complacent in the
servant's quarters. That was enough to send us
on a trip, far from the university of woodford
No constituency, no party, no chance of
survival. That is what the PNM will inherit from
17 years. One from PNM leaves nought.
The old national movement will inherit no
leader either. New leadership can only be acti-
vated by old. The function of Prophecy and
Messiahship is to destroy.
Kamaluddin Mohammed has been so des-
troyed. He went to the PNM with all the quali-
ties that budding leaders need: energy,resilience,
diplomatic skill, oratorical power and technical
competence enough to grasp the essentials of all
the public issues.
If the PNM had had a semblance of democra-
tic practice, he would have emerged today as a
major force because he is infinitely more genuine
a politician than the entire party front-bench,
not excepting Eric Williams.
There is no politician in the country less
competent to govern than Eric Williams. Such is
the paradox of the colonial world where book
usurps the place of sense and mimic men act for
men of substance.
Williams is an academic robber-talker who
has not had an original idea in his entire existence.
He is a college-exhibitioner whose great strength
lies in his intellectual ability to paraphrase metro-
politan orthodoxy and turn it to advantage in the
ignorant backwater of the colonial world, and in
his unrivalled capacity for doing it with such
explosive violence of rhetoric and such utter
single-mindedness of purpose that it kindles the
imagination of impotent colonials.
As a politician and an administrator Williams
has bungled every major issue: Chaguaramas,
Federation, morality in public affairs, economic
planning, political education and inter-racial
solidarity. He leaves Trinidad and Tobago and
the West Indies in a hopeless shambles.
In 1970, he was quite prepared to gamble
Independence away when he telephoned the
Americans to come and shoot black-people in
defence of his debasements.
The British figured him out very early and saw
that his rhetoric threatened nothing. He has sur-
vived at the top of the heap by assuming the
mantle of a Colonial Governor, high and mighty
above the natives, pouring his scorn down upon
us. In our impotence we accepted it.
We did not dare believe that our brightest
son, the child of over a hundred years of search
for deliverance through education, was the one
who scorned us most of all.
So long as it appeared that
the alternative remained the
I m prrrmtv Dnntnr Politics a
offered byCapildeo and James,
Wifliams survived as the ac-
knowledged master and we held
the strain as best we could.
But when the New World
and the Moko and the Tapia
offered new assumptions about
our people, the days of mimic-
men were over.
Williams has now bowed
before the movement. Power
is a competitive game which
he has never learnt to play. It
has always been a one-man
Williams has for 17 years
kept radio and TV to himself,
always outside and above the
competition. He was so scared
of competition that he even
ran from the deliberations of
the Wooding Commission.
Now a new dispensation is
at hand. On stage there are men
of judgment, competence and
patience, with both the interest
and the capacity for permanent
politicalorganisation. Such men
exist in Tapia too, where we
are not chasing any simple
expedient in a union or a racial
or religious grouping to build
The legacy of
seems to be one of the
present concerns of the
Commissioner of Police.
Yet it has not moved him
to take action against the
producers of noise other
than political who remain
free to blast their mes-
sages from loudspeaker
cars all over the country.
This is the scandal of
discrimination and poli-
tical bias brought to light
last week Wednesday when
Tapia was stopped from
of a meeting scheduled
for Tunapuna Friday
The police action, admit-
tedly on the direct inspiration
of Commissioner Bernard, was
accompanied by a threat to
seize Tapia's public address
equipment. And in last Sun.
day's Guardian Bernard re-
portedly repeated the threat
that "if it happened again
not only would they be pro-
secuted but their equipment
That did it. Tapia now
proposes to challenge the con-
stitutionality of the law in a
court of law. And of course
we intend to go on putting
that and many other like
matters before the people, the
highest court of the land, all
over the country.
Throughout the meeting
last Friday, motorbikes,
trucks, cars and big maco
PTSC buses passed continu-
ally on the Eastern Main
Road, competing with the
four speakers before Tapia's
The corner of Tunapuna
Road and the Eastern Main
Road is the heart of the busi-
ness district of Tunapuna.
In fact, the corner is popu.
;arly known as "Shopping
Centre Corner" after a store
of that name located there.
Yet Bernard, in a letter
raced to Tapia House by
Police car half an hour before
we began last Friday, expressed
foundations for our party.
The old national movement
is in many warring factions:
Robinson's DAC, Jamadar's
DLP, Lequay's DLP, and all
the pieces that Williams' de-
parture and Sinanan's arrival
will effectively create.
The new national move-
ment is ready. Wooding's Re-
port is coming soon. The con-
fusion could lead to a military
solution but if Tapia has any-
thing to do with it, the one
choice will be an Assembly of
the people and a revolutionary
national party. After that, elec-
toral politics will take its right-
concern that the meeting is
being held in a residential
area, and that the noise from
loudspeaker would unduly
disturb the residents threatt.
This he gave as his reason
for setting a 11 p.m. time
limit for the meeting to end.
But that was the last of an
exchange of letters between
the Commissioner of Police
and Tapia, which began when
Allan Harris wrote giving for-
mal notice of the meeting
last week Tuesday, and in-
formed him that we intended
The police reply came by
ordinary mail Friday morning
itself invoking Section 115
(1) of the Summary Offences
Ordinance Amendment Act.
No 1 of 1972, and requiring
among other things that the
meeting end at 10 p.m.
So the law gives the Com-
missioner of Police power to
say how much time you have
to speak to the people as
Tapia drew the line there.
Replying immediately to the
Commissioner, we declared
that that restriction was de-
finitely "not acceptable" to
Tapia's letter continued:
"It is highly probable that
the meeting will go beyond
11 p.m. and possibly as far as
midnight. You can be assured
that the peace will in no way
be threatened by Tapia so
long as our rights are not
This regime in all itsres-
pects understands only tough
talk and rock-hard determina-
tion.Not surprisingly the Com-
missioner backed down from
his original stand.
And his last letter in
reply to no request for assist-
ance from us stated: "In
an effort to assist, I will now
vary the time for terminating
the meeting to 11 p.m."
Dear Brothers in Tapia:
I wish to inform you
all that I am interested to
form Tapia into a political
party and to contest the
next General Elections, and
I am sure of victory. I am
sure of victory. I am look-
ing forward to an import-
ant meeting as early as
possible. Don't delay.
GASPARD R. NAIDOO
I enclose $ ........ as per rates listed below
T&T .............. 512.00 TT
CARIFTA .......... 18.00 WI
CARIBBEAN. ....... 12.50 US
US/CANADA. ....... 15.00 lU3
UK ............... 8.00 UK
W. EUROPE ....... !0.00 UK
WEST AFPRCA. ..... .L2.00 UK
INDIA .......... 12.00 UK
AUSTRALIA ........ 12.00 UK
EAST AFRICA...... 15.00 UK
FAR EAST......... 15.50 UK
All overseas deliveries airmail.
Surface mail rates on request.
RETURN TO. fupia House Publi>hi :. i .,
91 Tuniap.iun Rd.. T:napuna. Phnie 662-5126
rn'd.i.: iiid Tobago
PAGE 2 TAPIA
SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 1973
I Lenox Gant
I COULD SAY that it started with
missing the officially conducted
tour of the Library. The tour was
stated to be a compulsory exercise
in one of those documents which
I became entitled to on being
accepted as a UWI student. But by
the middle of that first week of
October 1970, I had been able to
recapture an attitude cultivated
during my two years as a civil
service clerk. It was in fact,,as I
learnt later, an old Spanish bureau-
cratic expedient: "I obey but I do
not comply". And in those days of
the mid-sixties, just after leaving
school, I prided myself in a cheer-
ful contempt for administrative
canons the point of which I
I used to get a little thrill out of
giving the elephantine bureaucracy a
pinch or a tickle just to see if it had
But that Library tour rule must
have had a point to it. When I arrived,
deliberately two hours late for my
group, I had no defence against the
seductive reasoning .of a, second-year
girl student that I could still keep the
spirit of the law by accepting the offer
of a privately conducted tour. So up
the elevator, down the stairs, to rest
after in a secluded second-floor sitting
room my tour was certainly more
enjoyable than the one tlie public sector
provided. But it was also less informative.
For weeks after my fresh new pink
pockets which entitled me to borrow
six books remained unused. I would
gather my wits, for a bold assault on
ignorance and mystification, riff care-
fully through the index cards, walk the
length of the fourth floor, read one by
one the titles on an entire shelf. But the
"essential texts" and the "highly recom-
mendeds" were never there, somehow.
Dahl The Political System, first
named of the "essentials," was a title
that kept flipping to the surface of my
mind in the most out-of-the-way situa-
tions, the conscience promptings of an
unexpiated sin. I developed an obsessive
curiosity about the contents of that
book, becoming convinced that it was
the key to the whole course, as the
lectures and classes and all the overt
motions of learning and teaching passed
over me like a wave rushing to shore.
But I found on the shelves J.K.
Galbraith's The Affluent Society, a
"highly recommended" of TIME maga-
zine some years before, and I dis-
covered the Jamaican Daily Gleaner
and racks of little-thumbed magazines.
And I noticed on a floor plan the
availability of typing rooms. After two
years of using a typewriter for every-
thing but a degraded shorthand scribble,
I had found a place in the Library.
Galbraith had not been recommend-
ed in any book list, as far as I re-
member. And the first librarian I asked
for the typing room key was only dimly
aware that such a facility existed.
The sparkling silver-blueness of the
swimming pool that beckoned me from
the first time I saw it beckoned few
other students. The dining hall knife-
and-fork lunch which I frequented was
notorious for an alleged badness which
I tried hard, but unsuccessfully, to
It's not only these things which
gave me a sense of being always on the
periphery of everything, of being a pri-
vate loner trying to find my way on the
fringes of the crowd. Nor, as I later
discovered, was I alone in this. Never
sharing the constant anxieties about
classes 'and essays and "readings", I
managed to exclude myself from the
traffic in books and notes and helpful
hints. Distracted in lectures and uneasy
in study groups, I can't say I ever knew
what it meant to "follow" a course.
Eventually 'I grew to cherish my
misfit's distinction. It wasn't long before
I was thanking the Lord I was not like
.the rest of men.
S But I came round. Not full circle; I
cannot claim a revolution. Personal
predisposition might still lead me to
want toilet paper if I were up in the
I suppose I have to say it: I learnt.
Three years. after, I don't know if it's a
lesson capable of general application.
For I did start off with what can be
considered a special kind of condition-
I don't imagine many other students
of the first-year class of 1970 had been
encouraged to feel the doubts that I had
about going to university. And when
it capne to the final analysis, I had, on
explaining, justifying it to myself, to
reflect that it had been always on the
cards. Just that I had happened to re-
member to send in the forms in March
1970, at a time when October that
year seemed like many unimaginable
eras away in the future if it had any
significance at all.
So I arrived at St. Augustine, a rest-
ing place where I had landed as if swept
away like a speck from the streets of
Port of Spain, just one of the many
thousands who had been told the streets
and the city didn't belong to them, a
refugee claiming sanctuary or asylum,
and hoping to start afresh, to return in a
Granma or a Trojan Horse.
There were, I therefore, both the
Element of flight, of acknowledged de-
feat, and the sense of having made a
tactical withdrawal in the hope of
"living to fight another day". That
October has in my memory this signi-
ficance too. It was at a (what I now see
as) farewell lunch in Port of Spain that a
senior colleague at the Express gave me
an assignment .He long wanted to hear,
he said, from someone (presumably
whose judgment he could trust) whether
the university was a plus or a minus to
Ironic. For the Express from which I
had begun the process of fleeing had
already ceased to be a "plus" in my
life. In these words by the group Rare
Earth I chose to see a different assign-
ment or purpose:
"We're searching for a better world
And we thought it passed this
So it started in fact before the
Library Tour which I didn't make. For'
better or for worse, journalism does not
acknowledge such a thing as "graduate
salary". And if that was what you
wanted, your three years off the scene
would be three years' experience, and
maybe "seniority", lost. You had as a
result to have some kind of feeling that
a "better world" was still somehow
attainable at St. Augustine.
It involved for,me the painful pro-
cess of disentanglement from the world
I knew, as a "town" person, seasoned to
the kind of interaction possible in the
Express newsroom, which is much like
working on the pavement in the city.
How could one adjust to a life where
the phone was always far away? Where
you never hear a radio? Where Humming
Bird was eight miles away? Where news-
papers were things you read in spare
time, if at all? '
At Freshmen's Conference I was
dismayed by the all too evident young-
ness of the other students, and I got the
earliest inkling then of the implications
of going to university after having
worked for years, after having started
in life, as they say. For the first five
minutes I was able to humour the
grubbing until I realized it was some-
thing utterly devoid of humour.
In the course of carrying out the
order of 40 push-ups, the Press pass fell
out of my pocket. "A spy! A spy!" the
cry went up. Thereafter I merited
special attention, and several times I was
asked whether I intended to write
blasting the "scandal". But I hadn't the
heart to express at the time the out-
raged innocence that must have been
felt by hundreds of Freshmen like my
self before, when grubbing would just
go on and on- regardless every year.
Helpless, I endured being marshalled
out of bed at four a.m. for a jog trot in
the drizzle to see the sights of the
campus. With similarly dehumanized
grubs in pajamas and dusters, I had to
participate in the spectacularly ingenious
indignity of an enforced football match
with a lime to score between two Solo
bottles set about one foot apart.
I remember it now with the dis-
comfort of recalling a past cowardice,
or a homosexual violation. I must con-
fess a resentment that has never been
assuaged by good humour, understand-
ing or forgiveness. And a personal sense
of pique nourished an intellectual dis-
appointment that an evil so manifest
could not only be tolerated but jea-
lously defended in fact.
I elaborated theories that identified
grubbing as the key, representative,
manifestation of all that was undesir-
able on campus, people and institutions.
I hastened to draw connections between
it, the idleness and malevolence which
made it possible, and the complacency
with which shoddiness, amateurishness
and the slapdash were accepted. I de-
tected in its support the feeling that,
after all, we're only students, here for a
time, and in due course we'll become
So it coloured my attitude to and
involvement in all the different aspects
of students life, whether journalism,
sport or government-and politics.
"A spy! A spy!" Within my first'
two weeks I saw Hollis Boisselle, then a
Guardian reporter, ordered out ot a
meeting in'the Students Union. He had
been sitting next to me and I couldn't
help feeling that the howls of "Out
Out!" meant me too. One year before
that the Express had fired a student on
a vacation job, one David Murray, be-
cause he refused to wear a tie.
Being able to look at it from both
sides I feel I have some insights into the
mutual misunderstanding, hostility and
awe that exist between journalists and
The disillusion of the Rare Earth
type is a phase I've had to live through,
even to be educated by experiencing the
illusion of thinking that you can change
it all by making a quick stab at it.
Maybe all those reactions and all
the theories they suggested tell more
about myself than about the university.
Which is just as well. Because, looking
back I can't see how you could go to
the university and hope to declare a
new dawn, or to teach the university
It is perhaps enough that you learn
something yourself, which may or may
not help you to change yourself. I have
had the greatest fear of the kind of
teacher, who, at the end of a lesson,
snaps the book shut, makes the class
sit up, and demands: "Well, what have
we learnt today?"
Well, Miss, I think I have learnt that
a better world is attainable only in the
process of working for it; it then exists
in fact defined by the dynamic of
co-operative exertions on the part of
people who feel the same way about
And it's a fair question: did I learn
that in spite of or because of the
university? Well, I can say I learnt it in
and around the UWI, St. Augustine.
'We're searching For a better world
end we thought it passed this w y'
TAPIA PAGE 3
SUNDAY 14 OCTOBER 1973
Thef east of RAMADAN
cure for a sick society
IMRAN NAZAR HOSEIN
FOR ONE month every year, the
month of Ramadan, 700 million
Muslims all over the world fast
during the daylight hours. They
eat nothing, drink nothing and
abstain from sexual activity.
The Quran, which is the sole
scripture of Islam, has made the
fast of Ramadan compulsory for
At the same time it has reminded
Muslims that the compulsory fast of
Ramadan is not novel. The institution
of the compulsory fast has been with
mankind from earliest times.
In keeping with the positive philo-
sophy of fasting in Islam, Ramadan seeks
to make a multi-dimensional impact
upon the human personality. It seeks
to build a better human being by working
towards the balanced and integrated
growth and development of all the
different dimensions of the human per-
sonality physical, rational, moral,
aesthetic and spiritual.
Islam, unlike Western civilisation,
recognizes not only the organic whole-
ness of man the multi -dimentional being.
Islam recognizes as well the necessity of
establishing inter-dependent and coor-
dinated political, social, economic and
moral philosophies. But what is more
important, Islam has established social
institutions designed to achieve, both in
the individual and in the society as a,
whole a concrete realization of its
These institutions are designed to
foster the growth and development of
all the dimensions of the human per-
The compulsory fast of Ramadan is
such an institution.
According to the Quran, the prim-
ary objective of fasting is the develop-
ment of the moral and spiritual dimen-
sions of the human personality "that
you may acquire piety and godliness".
Indeed the fast of Ramadan is essen-
tially a spiritual bath performing the
same cleansing function for the self that
water does for the physical body.
"He indeed," says the Quran, "has
achieved real success who purifies the
heart. And he indeed has suffered a
great loss who contaminates and defiles
But fasting in Islam has other goals
as well. It works towards a reaffirmation
of the cherished goal of human equality.
It surely must be an achievement for
the wealthy who can afford sumptuous
meals to be reduced to the same state
of hunger and thirst as the destitute.
Not for nothing is it that thereare
no seats in a mosque, and both prince
and pauper have to sit on the floor.
Not for nothing are there no preserved
pews in a mosque, and if the Prime
Minister comes last he must stand in
the last line.
Not for nothing there are no coffins
and caskets in a Muslim funeral and
all the dead leave equal as they came -
in the same white cotton.
And not for nothing are Muslims
buried without delay, within 24 hours,
for otherwise the bodies of the rich, the
great, the powerful, would be kept for
days, people would come from far and
wide, and their funerals would be huge,
a marvel to behold. But like the poor, the
humble and simple folk, they will be
dispatched without undue delay. Their
funerals will be small, and it will be
plain for all to see there goes a no-
And so in Islam the rich are made
to feel the hunger of the poor, the
"haves" to feel the sufferings of the
"have nots". In the cauldron of ex-
perience the human heart is softened
and from it blooms the flowers of
compassion and charity.
What this in fact hints and is the
Islamic economic philosophy which,
while closer to socialism than capitalism,
works for "equality" without sacrificing
"freedom", and seeks to achieve the
welfare state, the just and equitable
distribution of wealth, not through
force from above, but rather through
compassion from within'
The cauldron of experience, of vo-
luntary hunger and thirst and restraint
for the sake of God not only works as
a force for self-discipline, not only
permits a month-long struggle for
moral rearmament, but what is vastly
more important, opens up golden op-
portunities for us, servants, to feel the
touch of the. Master, lovers to feel
the touch of the Beloved.
The successful Ramadan is one
which recharges the spiritual dynamo in
man, transforms the spiritual life of a
community and leaves it saturated with
To build a strong and healthy na-
tion we must concentrate on building
good human beings. The human indi-
vidual is the foundation for the super-
structure which is the nation. And a
nation or a civilisaiton which is infested
with bribery and corruption, with
adultery and fornication, with rape and
violence, with hypocrisy and the curse
of alcoholism, with individualism, and
selfishness, with the exploitation of sex
and the exploitation of labour, with no
respect for age or for women that is a
sick nation and a sick civilization pre-
cisely because it has too many sick
It is time that we in Trinidad and
Tobago learn the simple truth that the
sick society can only grow worse if,
instead of its diseases being carefully
diagnosed and fearlessly treated, we
build a hugh and imposing mansion
with pride, and open it with trumpets,
and put the sick people into it.
And when the sick society, conscious
of its festering sores, shows scant respect
for the huge labour and immense sacri-
fice undergone in the building of the
mansion, it turns upon the building and
the builder crying "murder". Some say
the people are ungratful, and some say
the architects and the planners were
deficient in their work, and yet others
say it is a sick society and mansion.
will cure it of its sickness.
The message of this Ramadan is
that the mansion is good and strong,
the builder worked hard,with dedication,
honesty and integrity, but medicine
comes before mansion where there is
The Trinidad and Tobago society is
a sick society. It desperately needs
medicine. In the fast of Ramadan there
is medicine. Come join with us and
let us fast. Ramadan is medicine for
man in his totality as an organic
It is the fatal mistake of this un-
ashamedly materialistic modern Western
cilivisation, that it has failed to under-
stand man in his totality as an organic
Only thus can we explain its failure
to establish and sustain a relationship of
inter-dependence and consistency be-
tween its political philosophy, social
philosophy, economic philosophy and
a moral philosophy which conforms with
basic human nature.
Perhaps also, this is the reason why
we in Trinidad and Tobago do not as
,yet have a national ideology. Our men
of knowledge are yet to become men
The role of Islam in
-a ~ ,~ ...-.--.- a
PAGE 4 TAPIA
SUNDAY 14 OCTOBER 1973
- 6 0u
A storm still
A CRISIS which began
five years ago, and which
spread throughout the
English- speaking Carib-
bean, has not abated at all
in Trinidad and Tobago.
That crisis broke in
Jamaica in October 1968
when Walter Rodney was
denied re-entry into the
island by the Shearer go-
vernment. It spread to Bar-
bados, Guyana and Trini-
dad and Tobago.
When Ivan Laughlin, our
Community Relations Secre-
tary brought this to the atten-
tion of his audience in Tuna-
puna last Friday night, he was
speaking as a man who had
come of political age, so to
speak, in that five-year period.
He was a student at the
time UWI students marched in
support of Rodney, and a close
witness to, when not himself
involved in political develop-
ment over the period since.
He recalled that in 1969
Williams had promised a "fight
to the finish", and it had been
made clear since that that no
compromise was intended.
"Every year since 1968 the
tensions are rising. The poli-
tical crisis is heightening, and
we have reached the point in
1973 where, for the first time
in my knowledge of the Eng-
what is called guerrillas in the
hills. And we have to under-,
stand that that is happening'
because the fundamental prob-
lems that exist in the society
have not been solved".
The time had come, how-
ever, when a stand had to be
made if only to vindicate the
blood and effort expended in
the quest of change in this
society. And what was now
required was more than "the
rage in our hearts".
Laughlin was certain that
"we have to introduce a con-
cept of cool, of organisation,
of skill" which is what Tapia
The real departure which
Tapia had made was in taking
time to build an organisation
which was truly equipped to
deal in revolutionary politics.
Itwasa difference that Laughlin
was sure people in the country
We had seen the need for a
new type of movement which
would drive back the colonial
view of impotence. It was not
simply a question of hooking
About Tapia the Commun-
ity Relations Secretary told
his audience: "We have pre-
pared for five years, and we
are taking no half measures.
We are opposing all the brutal-
Then he named the three
pillars on which the Tapia
political programme stood -
Unconventional Politics, Con-
ventional Reform and Econo-
He showed the inter-rela-
tedness of the three as a single
politics meant the stimulation
of community organisation
which the Tapia constitutional
proposal for a conference of
citizens would crystallize into
permanence; localisation would
involve the localities in the
control and ownership of the
He ended with a stirring
appeal to join the the move-
ment and deal a death blow to
the old regime that monu-
ment of corruption and re-
"we.ve what is called guerrillas in the hills "
"IF THE political settlement is blocked, then we have to
take other means, and if the majority of the people back
that, then we stand for it whatever it is".
So did Tapia Community Relations Secretary Ivan
Laughlin climax a passionate address to a public meeting
at the corner of Tunapuna Road and Eastern Main Road
The first speaker of the evening, Laughlin described the
brutalities which people now regard as a fact of life in Trinidad and
Food prices and shortages, road congestion, inadequate educa-
tional facilities, unemployment
health conditions, corruption.
All of that added up to
"pressure, confusion and ten-
tion", It was a kind of situa-
tion from which there was no
escape for anyone. Laughlin
showed how it was folly to
talk of being "on a different
In particular he had a word
for those brothers who had
given up hope in the usefulness
of political involvement.
"Those who want to opt
out can no longer do so. If you
have a fathead, a beard or long
hair, you are considered a gueri-
lla. So that people are forced
by the repression to become
Not even mothers and
fathers who had perhaps sup-
ported the old PNM regime
could afford to stay on the
sidelines, Laughlin stressed.
These parents have seen their
children scrunting for jobs,
being shot or otherwise bru-
And he cited the example
of the police riot squad being
brought out against school-
children in Laventille recently.
Yet, even though the entire
population was being forced
to be involved, there was mount-
ing confusion. For it was a
political situation which had to
,be understood before there
could be any hope of beating
back the old regime.
The confusion, in Laughlin's
view, was because Trinidad and
Tobago is no longer a colony,
among youth, police brutality, had van Laughlin.
but that the colonial ways of
seeing things persist. He in-
sisted that it was the people of
the country who had ourselves
to resolve the crisis. There was
indeed no hope of a solution
being imposed from outside.
What particularly defined
this is ia new juncture was the
fact that there was little or no
confidence in the institutions
not in the police, not in the
courts, not in the churches.
And this, as Tapia has said,
means a constitutional crisis.
The entire fabric of the
social institutions was falling
apart, and the task at hand
was to reconstitute the whole
a task of constitutional re-
form, in fact.
But it had to be seen that a
new kind of politics was re-
quired to deal with this new
situation. It would mean break-
ing from the habits of the past
- and that is why the situation
Laughlin was sure, however,
that the time was ripe for the
"The longing for peace and
order indicate that people are
ready to forge a nation".
Blood sweat and tears had
already been shed in the pro-
cess; he referred to the 15
people who by TAPIA's count
had died violently over the
The urgency of the present
required that 1973 be a "year
'of decision". He felt that the
few remaining months in the
year were of crucial importance
for the future, for:
"The foundations that we
lay down in '73 will determine
what happens in the future of
wanted her to
makes it easy -
_Iand an. ideal
IIAVE A' I)ENONM rITlATION 'r()oAY
NATIONWIDE AGENTS AND STOCKISTS
-1 a pia round
TAPIA PAGE 5
III In t I II III
i re r a%
PAGE 6 TAPIA
AS Sir Hugh, Wooding put it, when he
closed the National Convention on May 9
last, "the Commission cannot consider itself
bound by.. .any opinions expressed ...
At the end of the day it is for the Commis-
sion to form its own opinions and to make
its recommendations accordingly".
There is a sizeable number of individuals and
not a few corporate bodies engaged in creative
work in this country but the prevailing view is that
'our society is materialist, individualist, oligarchy-
dominated, one in which everybody plays it safe,
where we suffer from the undeveloped character of
professional organizations, where corruption is rife'
in high places, where nepotism is rampant, and
where cynicism and general indifference to things
of the spirit are everywhere in evidence. There is a
spiritual malaise in which not the least among the
sufferers are the young.
It is in this overall social, political, and
economic context that the Report of the Com-
mission will be making its appearance and its
impact and the political parties will be reacting to
No one outside the Commission can know
the final form its Report will take; but there are
things on which there already seems to be a
(a) the new constitution will provide for
strong government, that is government that can
work and take responsibility for its decisions.\
(b) there will be, in the words of Sir Hugh's
Closing Statement, "a parliamentary democracy
within a republic with a President as Head of State
and a Prime Minister as Head of Government". This
is in the logic of history.
(c) "it is now agreed that 18-year-olds should
be given the right to vote".
(d) "that the ballot box should replace the
(e) ,"that the life of Parliament should con-
tinue to be normally five years".
(f) that there should be a chapter of human
rights and freedoms though the precise form it
should take is not yet quite decided.
(g). that women's rights must be up-dated.
I was disappointed at the Commission's failure
to make available memoranda submitted to it.
This was done at the 1962 Independence Confer-
ence at Queen's Hall. Here I venture a layman's
opinion: I can understand the Government making
a conrmunication to a body such as the Cbmmis-
sion and considering that submission of sufficiently
high State importance as to require that it should
be treated as confidential; though, perhaps, on an
occasion of this kind the Government'would more
likely hold discussions with the Chairman; But I
cannot see' how any other body or individual can
regard a communication as anything but a public
document. The Commission would naturally have
the right to see that the submission did not trans-
gress the requirements' of propriety or the law and,
if it did, to reject it or require its amendment.
If I was disappointed at the unavailability of
memoranda, I am astonished at a statement made
by Sir Hugh. In order, however, to explain my
astonishment I must quote the passage in question.
It occurs in the same closing statement:
"Another of he "checks and balances" is
the constitutional supremacy of Parliament.
It is, I think, the established practice in
parliamentary democracies for important
government announcements to be made in
the House, for questions on a variety of
subjects relating to Government business to
tobe askedand answered,for bills andnotions
to be debated with due regard to the cus-
tomary stages prescribed for the enactment
of Bills, for committees to be appointed
with various responsibilities and for the
people to be kept informed through Par-
liament of the state and progress of Govern-
ment business. Complaints have been made
that these traditional requirements have been
honoured in their breach rather than in their
Then comes the very surprising statement:
"It is however not the business of the Com-
mission to enquire into the validity of such
The statement continues:
"Rather, its business is to provide a Con-
stitution which, so far as constitutional pro-
visions can ensure, will maintain the tradi-
tional supremacy of Parliament in all its
To me it would seem that the Commission is
taking a rather limited view of the nature and scope
of its functions. Why have men with high qualifi-
cations in political and social science among its
membership if we are not going to be offered some
social and political analysis of the issues behind
our new constitution? Are we forgetting the fact
that the present constitution is only ten years old
and both Government and the people consider tt
to be in need of serious amendment? The Com-
mission's Report is expected to have the nature of
a major work.
The constitution question is clearly much
more than one of mechanics and legal provision. It
is primarily and basically political in nature. In the
circumstances we expect the Commission's Report
is primarily and basically political in nature. In the
circumstances we expect the Commission's Report
a clear and concise statement of the criteria
which should govern democratic constitution-mak-
ing in the modern world.
a description and an analysis of the Society
of Trinidad and Tobago in terms of the political,
social and economic forces at work in it, their
operation and their interplay. This is indispensable
if the exercise is to be something more than an
exercise in abstractions; fqr these forces will deter-
mine the extent to which the criteria described
above will, or will not, be translated into living
fact in the life of the country. The PNM's Perspec-
tives for the New Society was able to do a job of
wider scope in 42-pages.
This concludes the last in the series of extracts from the panphlet
"DemocracyorOligarchy.HowisSirHugh lh:i '.-diigGo'ing to come",
by Dr. C. V. Gocking.
On the negative side, I find it disturbing
that the Prime Minister may be allowed to retain
the power of patronage which he was enjoying
with the Public Service. If there is one power and
political party in office would like to retain from
the present Constitution it is this one and the
Commission, if its Models are any guide, propose
to leave things as they are.
If we take a look at the Commission's
Outlines of Four Model Constitutions, Model 1,
the present Constitution, page 17, we shall see that
the Prime Minister has the power to "signify his
objections," in other words, the power of veto
over any appointment the Public Service Com-
mission may recommend to the posts of Permanent
Secretary, Director of Personnel Administration,
Head of a Department of Government, Chief
Professional Adviser in a Ministry of Government,
and the Deputy to any such person, to the post of
Commissioner of Police. The paragraphs that
cover these powers are 98 to 102,of which the most
important is 98.
Under Model 2, page 29, paragraph (50), "the
power of the Prime Minister to veto appointment
to certain offices shall remain unchanged see
paragraph 98 to 102 of Model 1".
Under Model 3, page 43, paragraph 91, we
read: "The Prime Minister's power of veto over
appointment to the offices enumerated in para-
graph 98 of Model 1 shall be preserved".
Under Model 4, based on the American
Presidential system, a model now rejected by the
Commission Chairman's Closing Statement, page
50, paragraph 40, we read: "The President shall
have the power of veto over appointments to the
offices enumerated in paragraph 98 of Model 1".
The picture is consistent.
One can see the necessity for the Prime
Minister controlling appointments to the post of
Ambassador or High Cqmmissioner; one can even
allow considerable influence over appointments to
the post of Permanent Secretary although this will
mean that, that office becomes somewhat political.
A new party coming into power may not wish to
be saddled with every appointment to this almost
political office. But there is no reason in the world
why every technocrat,, every professional Head,
A constitution does not work in a
vacuum; and those who read and study the
Report will wish to be provided with such
basic information as would help them to
assess the society's potential for fully opera-
tive democratic self-government. They will
therefore expect the Commission to identify
and assess the social forces which are work-
ing to promote or impede and thwart
democratic values. Then, and only then,
will the provisions of any new constitution
that may be proposed become intelligible
and seen as providing a framework within
which democracy can flow and flourish.
a careful analysis of the existing constitution
as it has worked under the conditions actually
existing in our society and how far it has suc-
ceeded, or has failed, to meet the demands
expected of it.
recommendations for a constitutional frame-
work and constitutional mechanisms which can
contain so far as such devices can or impose
restraint on those political, social and economic
forces which would, if left to themselves, under-
mine democratic freedom and deprive thousands
of equality of opportunity and a career open to
the talents and, finally,
recommendations for changes, if and where
necessary, in the constitutional framework and
new mechanisms with a view to improving the
chances of a fuller and juster life for all. This is the
every Government Department Head and all their
deputies and Heaven only knows how far down
the line the deputyship may extend should be
under party influence and control.
This state of affairs has produced numerous
ills: there is no sense of hierarchy in the civil ser-
vice juniors may enjoy a confidence withdrawn or
not extended to their seniors; officers look to
political patronage and -shy away from 'taking
decisions. The ills are legion. In any system where
there is strong political influence in and over the
public service there develops a paralysing of ini-
tiative in everybody but those at the top.
The matter of the President is not-even worth
discussing. Under the system proposed, it is
impracticable to have a President who will be in
Opposition in any serious matter to the Prime
So far as the Auditor General is concerned,
the proposals : made in the Closing Statement
are excellent until one recognizes that the problem
here is not administrative but political Who is
going to see that these provisions and regulations
are not honoured more in the breach than in the
THE Commission on page 5 of its Booklet
on Working Papers raises an important point with
far-reaching political implications'
"If rights and freedoms are fundamental as
they have been declared to be, many people
'TOBER, 1973 TAPIA PAGE 7
doubt that it should be permissible to abro-
gate or infring them except in times of
This reasoning is logical, at least in the
abstract. It is a contradiction in terms to describe a
right or freedom as fundamental and declare at the
same time that it can be abrogated or infringed by
a 3/5 majority at any particular time. Should the
Commission take this view and insert a clause or
clauses to this effect in the draft of the proposed
new constitution, it would focus immediate atten-
tion on Acts No. 36 of 1971 and No. 1 of 1972.
These Acts are respectively An Acts to amend the
Sedition Ordinance, Ch. 4. No. 6 and An Act to
amend the Summary Offences Ordinance, Ch. 4.
On the other hand, should the Commission
take the opposite view and declare 'it "permissible
to abridge or infringe" fundamental rights and
freedoms in times outside those of public emer-
gency, it could be taken to have passed a political
judgement on the nature of Trinidad and Tobago
society in terms of its fitness for full democracy,
full democracy being taken to include those rights,
guaranteed under the present constitution which
No. 36 of 1971 and No. 2 of 1972 now curtail.
Why? Because the present constitution, ac-
cording to Thinking Things Through page 6,
paragraph 2, sub-section 2, permits the passing of a
law that abrogates or infringes human rights and
fundamental freedoms in times outside those of
public emergency provided, inter alia, that "its
provisions cannot be shown not be reasonably
justifiable in a society that has a proper respect for
the rights and freedoms of the individual".
This is a grave issue but it has been raised by
the Commission itself and it evidently proposes to
deal with it.
It is subjects like this that underline
the political nature of constitution-making
and the need for illuminating political,
social and economic analysis in the Report
that accompanies the Commission's Draft
In the United Kingdom, according to K.W.
Walker's Government in Britain and the Common-
wealth, page 216, "Freedom of Assembly".
"The law gives no, power to the police or
any authority to forbid the holding of a
public meeting but the police have discretion
to intervene if they consider that a breach
of the peace may result".
The issue is, of course, where does the
initiative lie with the police or with the
public, the citizenry?
PARILIAMENT is the supreme legislature au-
thority in the notion arid no Government can re-
main in office if it loses its support. it is a common-
place of constitutional history, however, that with
the rise of the party system, and its rigid party
discipline, Parliament has tended to become the
place where the decisions taken by the Executive
or Cabinet are registered. This is largely what has
happened in Trinidad and Tobago.
But Parliament can be restored and its
supervisory powers over the Executive, that is
Cabinet and Civil Service, used for the nation's
good. The institution of Parliamentary committees
is one method.
It is therefore most gratifying that the Com-
iission which gave such prominence to the com-
mittee system under'Model 3, should have found
additional support in the Chairman's Closing
Statement when he said:
"Not enough has been said certainly not
nearly as much as I had hoped of parlia-
It is most desirable that sessional select
committees of the Senate and an enlarged House of
Representatives be provided for. These would
oversee the great departments of State Edu-
cation, Agriculture, Health, etc. These committees
might comprise members of the ruling party and of
the Opposition with significant representation
of Independence in the Senate.
In such matters the Commission has a com-
petence to which I cannot pretend; but paragraphs
38 to 44, page 37, of Model 3, seem to commend
themselves but not in the context of a unicameral
legislature. The committees would provide work
and experience for the back-bencher, bring the
Opposition and the independents into living con-
tact with the whole administration and present
reportswhich,when they became public documents,
would work for public participation in government.
PROPORTIONAL Representation I would
eschew. Certainly for the present. We think of the
history of nations in terms of long periods of time
and there is time enough to consider this.
The society is not sufficiently formed for
us to get truly representative groups. We
stand a better chance.of getting factions and
cabals and weak government.
A large House of Representatives yes; a
unicameral legislature emphatically no. With all
respect,I would rather not place the destiny of the
country exclusively in the hands of professional
The life-blood of'a democracy consists in a
live, informed and vocal public opinion, in institu-
tions which facilitate and compel the dissemination'
of information which the citizen needs and has
a right to have if he is to discharge his duties and
responsibilities, and in maximum participation at
all levels of community and governmental activity.
Trinidad and Tobago has to devise
institutions to suit its own needs. We must
not be afraid to be original. We need a
large and representative membership.
"'Tapia" is right: it speaks of a Senate that is "a
Conference of citizens .. a House that will bring
out people into the corridors of Government for
the first time in our history".
Both the Perspectives and Tapia are in favour
of a Senate or Second House. They differ, how-
ever, in important matters of principle and appli-
cation. But this is what Dr. Williams said in 1955:
It was a public lecture delivered under the auspices
of the People's Educational Movement of the
Teachers' Economic and Cultural Association,
Limited on July 19, in Woodford Square and
therefore repeated in Tunapuna, Couva, Point
Fyzabad, Arima, San Fernando and Sangre Grande:
". .. the case for a nominated second
chamber in the legislature in Trinidad and
Tobago cannot be disputed. 3What is wrong
With the Constitution is not the principle of
the nominated system, but its: practical
operation. The nominated .system is so
essential that, if it did not exist, it would be
necessary to invent it. '
"Read over the debate of the Legislative
Council during the past five years, as I have
been doing recently; you will find that the
soundest and best speeches have come from
the nominated members. Some of you will
not like to hear this the present nomi-
nated system is in the wrong place ...
Put them in a second chamber, in a position
of dignity and responsibility, to warm, and
comfort, but not to command. We can then
draw infinite assistance from a system which
is now condemned by all except those who
stand to profit by it ...
"The second defeat of the nominated system
today is that it is not used as extensively
as it should be. It is not that there are too
many nominated members; it is that there
are too few ...
"Establish a second chamber, and it is at
once feasible to expand the nominated
system so that the best possible advice can be
afforded by it to our developing democracy.
"The third defect of the present nominated
system is that nomination is made by the
Governor This inevitably gives rise to
charges that the nominated member is the
"All the special interests I have mentioned
enjoy one great advantage. They are inde-
pendent of the Governor, and the govern-
ment. This independence must be explicitly
provided for. These special interests must
themselves' choose their representatives in
the second chamber ... The second chamber
must not be dominated by the Governor, by
the Secretary of State or by the party in
Fifteen years later the Perspectives takes the
same stand; it actually draws attention to Dr.
"The PNM in 1961 made an advance on the
Parliamentary practice in force in most of the
developing countries in recommending the
setting up of a Senate with representation
for several community interests such as
Labour, Business and Religion. In fact the
concept of a broadly based Upper House
for Trinidad and Tobago goes back to ideas
first enunciated in 1955. These ideas were
based on two considerations deriving from
an analysis of the special circumstances of
Trinidad and Tobago the fragmented and
heterogeneous nature of our society caused
by our peculiar history, and the need to
involve as many sections of the population
as possible in the political process. It appears
to us now that we should carry the principle
somewhat further and seek to provide repre-
sentation on the Senate for Local Govern-
ment representatives, Cooperatives, and re-
presentatives of Art and Culture ... "(p 15).
The Commission, if we are to judge by its
published statements, does not seem to be much in
favour of a Senate or Second House.
In its Model 2, the Senate is to have 30
members of whom 50% are to be the Prime Minis-
ter's nominees. Under Model 3, there is to be no
Senate at all. In the Chairman's Closing Statement
he says, inter alia, "if the Commission should
accept the view to set up one". It is probably
significant also that the Parliamentary Committee
system of which the Chairman is fond is associated
with Model 3 and not with Model 2, under which I
can see no valid reason to exclude it.
The Commission therefore seems at variance
with the Perspectives and with Tapia.
Tapia's suggestions on the constitution of the
Senate have much to recommend them. They go
beyond Dr. Williams' support for a larger Senate as
a means "to our developing democracy". They
would work mightily towards the" decolonising
process. They are closer to meeting our needs.
To take an example: following democratic
practice, Government, before introducing import-
ant legislation, publishes Drafts of Bills for public
study and comment.
Trinidad and Tobago is already a progressive,
informed and developed society but because so
many of its most knowledgeable people are em-
ployed by the State and other organizations which
,do riot or cannot permit their employees freedom,
of controversial political and other comment, there
is very little public comment on such Draft Legisla-
tion unless some particular body is deeply affected.
The purpose of a large Senate is therefore
to create a Senate which will function as
"a Conference of Citizens a House that
will bring our people into the corridors of
Government for the first time in our history".
andto afford Parliamentary cover to others,
media and individuals for example, who
would otherwise keep silent.
Democracy would have a much better
chance to come alive and be enriched. Colo-
nialism's attitude and concept that even
the most informed, objective, disinterested
and constructive criticisms of the Govern-i
ment were acts of disloyalty and hostility
would eventually be eradicated and a free
society of men and women emerge.
I woulp strongly recommend such a Senate
or Conference of Citizens to the Commission and
to the Government though I should hesitate to sa'y
just how the two houses should work together as
one Parliament. I incline totwoseparateHouses with
Ministers, and Opposition leaders meeting the
considerably enlarged Senate to recommend or
oppose Government measures and for testing and
discovering public opinion and the public will;
It is the concept, it is the principle that are
important. Once these are acceptable, both the
Government and the Commissions have the ex-
pertise and the access to information to make
them workable, to institutionalise them.
I would therefore suggest that some of the
desiderata we should keep constantly before the
public up to the very moment the Commission
hands in its Report and after, are:
an enlarged House of Representatives.
a greatly enlarged Senate, as Tapia rightly
insists upon. representing the greatest spread
and constitutional arrangements and mecha-
Sisms that till reduce party political control over
those focal points of power the patronage, for
example, which, in my candid opinion,ultimately
weaken rather than strengthen party by getting it
involved in the interests of privileged groups and
away from those of the broad masses of the people
however much it may wish to serve the interests
of the latter.
SUNDAY 14 OCTOBER, 1973
Iapia on the'IiU4 m.TJ. ini'i [
AN EPIC of failure ... but why? Syl Lowhar, Tapia Chair-
man, put this to a public meeting in Tunapuna, last Friday
night as he spoke of the PNM.
Lowhar, who is also a poet of the new movement,
invited the audience to see the present political situation
As a drama in which there is both tragedy and comedy.
The tragedy, of course, could be seen in the present
chaos in the old national movement of the PNM now that
its leader/founder Dr. Williams has set his face to withdrawal
from the political scene,
It was tragic, Lowhar felt, that the issue of succession had not
been settled within the PNM. It was tragic, too, that Williams, the
brilliant leader could not have allowed his own brilliance to rub off
on other men in the party. So that now no one else could smoothly
take up the mantle.
Apart from that, there was the manifest and resounding failure
of the PNM to deliver the goods, to live up to their ideals, to fulfil
their own promises and the aspirations of the population.
To Lowhar this was fundamentally a failure of political
method. "The way the PNM was organised spelt doom for it".
From the start the PNM had been'hamstrung and its prospects
blighted by opportunists, opportunists, of the kind that still abound
on the political scene today.
The Tapia Chairman recalled the observations of C.L.R.
James in his Party Politics in the West Indies formerly "PNM
* That the party had never
been organised; it was just one
man and a bunch of camp
* That no democratic pro-
cess had developed to be a brake
on the dictatorial tendencies
of the leader.
Informed by this lesson
of the development and re-
sulting incapacity of the PNM,
Tapia could not in 1968 accept
the now-for-now approach to
The NATION, the PNM's
paper once edited by C.L.R.
James, also represented a tragic
failure of the party. Lowhar
referred to the background to
James' leaving the PNM when
the national leadership of the
party refused to defend him
against accusations from the
Lowhar recounted the role
of A.N.R. Robinson in this,
episode which was the earliest
sign of the party's refusal to
allow a star other than Dr. Wil-
liams to rise in the party
Which led the Tapia Chair-
man to refer to the TAPIA
newspaper and to declare that
we "will not see it descend to a
"We have to respect the
intelligence of the people and
keep supplying them with the
intellectual weapons of inform-
ation, and analysis".
Against the mud-slinging of
the DAC's TRUTH Lowhar
thundered that no advertiser
could ever influence the com-
mentary and news and in
Referring to the "broken
fragments" of Williams' dreams
which littered the political
scene today,Lowhar mentioned
Morality in Public Affairs,
Economic Planning, Independ-
ence and Caribbean Integra-
He indicated that Dr. Wil-
liams had himself shown 'his
own and the old national move-
ment's failure to make those
dreams come true.
Economic planning had
foundered on the. rocks of
rising food prices and mass
lay-offs.like the one at Neal
and Massy. The tentacles of
the multinational corporations
were visible everywhere in the
national economy, a jeopardy
to national independence.
Then, Lowhar turned to
the "comedy" of the situation.
And in the starring role he put
Karl Hudson Phillips. He listed
a few of the "more blunders
that we can count":
* The mutiny trials of 1970
and 1971 in which enormous
sums of money were spent to
import military "judges" like
the infamous Danjuma. This
was a slur on the calibre of the
* The 1970 State of Emer-
gency and the bungling with
the detention orders and the
final confusion about when /it
was supposed to end;
* The shameful failure of
the attempt to have Aeneas
Wills struck off the roll of
barristers a vicious act which
demonstrated the vindictiveness
:of the "dress maker from Mara-
* The Public Order Bill
which was the real statement
of PNM's Perspectives.
* The detention of Jack
Kelshall which resulted in large
compensatory payments out of
Above all, Hudson Phillips
would be remembered as the
one who issued the General
Lloyd Best, he said, had
been one of the first to see that
industrialization based on
foreign capital could not work,
and he mentioned Best pro-
posal for localisation.
In 1956 people had the
same question in mind as they
had today who we go put?
They had seen through the
Gomes regime and were ready
for a new dispensation, but no
new leadership had yet
appeared. Yet in nine months
the movement threw up leader-
Now we have seen the fail-
ure of that leadership and we
ought to be wiser. It is clear,
Lowhar said, that "Williams has
to go to save whatever vestige
of reputation remains".
And he was confident that
the country had more organisa-
tion and leadership than ever
before in our entire history.
OUR ONLY PATTERN
* INVEST IN
Clico a company of
West Indians, formed for the
economic upliftment of PEOPLE.
Growing from humble beginnings to one
of the largest financial institutions indigenous to
the Caribbean. Assets for the security of our
policy holders now total over
60 MILLION DOLLARS
The Growth is UP
PAGE 8 TAPIA
SUNDAY 14 OCTOBER 1973
STAPIA ON THE ROAD
A BREAKDOWN of the
social order;the population
comes out in large num-
bers; a doctor-figure takes
the lead; an advance is
made; some years later,
disenchantment among the
people; they -look for a
From 1919 to the pre-
sent time, that has been
the pattern of political
development in this
Add a good deal more
historical detail, and you
get the picture sketched
by Tapia Secretary Lloyd
Best addressing last Friday
night's meeting in Tuna-
"When we take a long his-
torical perspective and check
on what has been going on in
this country over the last 50
years, we see a very clear con-
nection between the national
movement at its beginning and
the national movement at its
end," Lloyd Best observed.
Definitely the national
movement had died, and we
were starting fresh as it were.
But we had to be clear on the
reasons why that movement
came to nought.
Cipriani, Butler and Wil-
liams had come to the fore as
"new suns of the morning,
promising the moon". Every
time, though, "the men seem to
turn out to be men with feet of
If we were to take the long
view of history, however, we
could not conclude that Cipri-
ani, Butler and Williams were
simply "bad men". Instead,
Best urged us to see it as "a
habit of our politics".
So that our leaders, our
organizations and our plans
have always come to nought.
And the question to be asked
Because the present crisis in
which the country was seeing
itself "in the wilderness again"
since Williams had cut himself
adrift has been provoking the
same question who we going
Best declared: "It would
be a sad mistake, a fundamental
historical error for us to be-
Where are all the plans
rate and incomprehensible.
Williams' last conven-
tion address was all of these
things, and Tapia Secretary
Lloyd Best divided the ad-
dress into three parts to
show how each part de-
served the criticism he
applied to it.
The first part .dealt with
foreign policy. That was totally
irrelevant at this stage; there
could be no foreign policy
which was not an extension on
the international scene of the
policies followed at home.
On the EEC and regional
approaches to it Best said:
"The reason why the
European Economic Commun-
ity issue is in a mess is that we
have no plan. If we had a plan
each for Jamaica, Guyana and
Trinidad and Tobago about
how we are going to bring
about full employment and
how we are going to create more
equality, more housing, and
solve the problems of agricul-
ture and industry, then when
you add up all the plans you
get a West Indian plan and you
could deal with Europe.,If your
house is not in order you can't
deal with them".
The second part of the
address dealt with the weak-
nesses of the population In-
dividualism, corruption, guer-
rillas and it was "completely
distorted". Best on the
"The guerrillas are not
mimicking people in Algeria, in
Africa or in Cuba. The guerrillas
are there because they are
idealists. They were brought
up in the PNM dream, and they
have seen in their own house-
hold the corruption, the venal-
ity, the greed, and they have
opted out for easy solutions.
"They have opted out be-
cause their political education
is lacking. Just as Williams goes
shopping in foreign magazines
and manipulating the popula-
tion's ignorance about simple
matters like multinational cor-
porations, paraphrasing a lot of
orthodoxy from everywhere,
the young people are doing the,
And this failing stemmed
from the lack of proper educa-
tional facilities like library ser-
vice, serious communications
media, a publishing house etc.
The corruption and indivi-
dualism for which Williams in-
dicted the party and the popu-
lation were also superficial
judgments. Referring to the
Doctor's complaint about the
scarcity of talent to run the
government, Best said this was
not an act of God. It was a
result of how the party was
organized. In a properly or-
ganised party competent people
would come forward as a matter
What was incomprehensible
about the speech was Williams'
reasons for withdrawal. "To
the extent that I can understand
it," Best said, "it is totally irre-
sponsible. If you have the party
in a mess after 17 years you
can't simply walk out of it".
come caught up in the politics
of succession. The issue is much
There was indeed no dis-
pute that Williams had to go.
He had himself been taking steps
to leave. But, Best insisted,
"it is our duty to understand
that the larger issue goes be-
yond the man".
The succession was diffi-
cult to arrange because the
PNM was a one-man show,
and the reason for the crisis
was that that kind sof politics
has been with us since the
1920s. It was the politics of
colonialism when power lay
outside of the country had a
short-term campaign involving
a crowd and a doctor in the
square was sufficient.
Under Independence that'
strategy became inadequate; a
new, unconventional, politics
had to be practised. To exercise
the responsibility that came
with Independence, men, or-
ganisation and ideas had to be
orchestrated into a solid poli-
If any of these ingredients is
lacking it is not possible to
make up the deficiency by the
simple process of borrowing.
Best referred to the accusation
that Tapia has been "giving
ideas to Williams", and he
"There is nothing wrong
with putting out ideas. If you
put out ideas as Tapia has done
and they don't have the organ-
isation and the plan and the
people to implement them then,
they can't use them".
So that even though Wil-
liams had been studiously fudg-
ing from the Tapia programme
over the years it had not helped
"You have to build an
organization before you take
office. Independence demands
new politics, a political organ-
isation that is superior in every
resource for government and
politics. It's a question of form-
ing a political party which can
last," Best stressed.
To achieve this Tapia had
kept itself "in the political
wilderness for the best part of
He was confident that since
the 1971 elections the country
has been learning new politics;
the need for community self-
organisation; and the.need for
intellectualwork to provide for
clarity on the issues.
He saw that political mobi-
lization at the moment rested
"at a point just below the
boil". But there was a paradox
in that the majority of people
were surely against the govern-
ment, yet the government
could not fall. They retained
100% of the seats in Parliament.
It was a dangerous paradox
which could not last, a vacuum
which would be filled either by
political means or by military
drive- anything you can make -
send donations to the Treasurer ,
Tapia house 82 '- 84 St Vincent
A Wreath for today
the morning intrudes on our docile existence
and empty souls rush out to life on the fence,
the green inflated whip still whispers "slave". in the air
falling on black backs, black fear.
driving us down on our knees
won't the yoke ever leave, please mother, please
it followed through the centuries and over the seas
taking our substance, stealing the keys
to our land, paid for in Africa's blood
today's man drowning in the flood
of a system that never will
make heroes of those who took the hills
while we sink on the plains of quicksand
makingfools of ourselves, cultivating on our land
the greed of today, leaving famine in the wake
suffocating the ideas that make the mountain shake *
with explosion of truth
the gun and the'boot.
the day has ended
broken hearts left amended
a nation sighs, a sister cries
tomorrow is left to so many "whys"
a father groans, a mother moans
she laid down her life, 'Beverly Jones.
TAPIA PAGE 9
ar ing f h rI
SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 1973
SThe Region: Belize
THE BENCHES of Belize City's parks and streets are
well-warmed. By day, the city's main thoroughfare, Albert
Street, is filled with the cosmopolitan army of the un-
employed British, Germans, Jamaicans, Mexicans, Sy-
rians, Lebanese, Palestinians and many more.
Most of them emigrate to the United States, Canada
and other countries in search of work, but usually they are
deported and returned to the ranks of the bench-warmers.
Drugs, sex, weapons there is a thriving market for practic-
ally everything here except labour.
But not everyone has a job problem. Deep in the Peten jungle
region the US Gulf Oil Corporation is drilling oil wells day and night.
Belize_- formerly British Honduras is a nation that nearly
isn't. Some American publications deny its existence.
The Reader's Digest Spanish language almanac Anuario de
Informacion lists Belize as a province of Guatemala. Howard Lewis,
the president of Reader's Digest, is an executive member of the
United States Information Agency whose principal mission, accord-
ing to its director, is "to back
the United States military
position in the world" through
the mass media.
Why this thinly-veiled US
support for the Guatemalan
claim to sovereignty over
Gulf Oil is reported to be
pressuring the Guatemalan re-
gime into asserting its terri-
torial claims. And the Peten
jungle, where US oilmen are
hard at work, has been the
scene of several Guatemalan
border provocations. British
naval forces have several times
been called in to keep incur-
sions in check.
Meanwhile, Gulf's big rival
here, Royal Dutch Shell, the
Anglo-Dutch oil giant, professes,
The people of Belize see
continued British rule as their
only hope of keeping the
Guatemalans at bay. The go-
vernment enjoys only internal
autonomy- and for the moment
they want to keep it that way.
By a grotesque piece of
irony, the British have been
made to feel needed:
But while the -British wallow
in self-righteousness, Belize
wallows in backwardness and
-George Price, the country's
premier, has fought for Belize's
independence from Great Bri-
tain since he was a young
Price places Belize and its
singular anti-colonial struggle
within the context of the
Third World struggle in general.
But the heterogenous com-
position of his People's United
Party, made up of Left, Centre
and Right elements, spells a
question mark for the country's
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Today Belize is composed
of wooden houses and its street
layout does not facilitate traffic.
No foreigner dares to walk alone
on the street after dark, since
unemployment has led to the
proliferation of underprivileged
groups. Alcohol, drugs and
weapons can be bought cheaply
in places everybody knows
The "boledo", a principal
attraction, is a lottery game.
The people of Belize have the
habit of stopping foreigners on
the street to strike up conver-
sations about almost anything.
Cultural life is null and social
life is dull.
Ninety per cent of the
130,000 inhabitants of Belize
are literate and both Spanish
and English are taught in the
schools. The people, however,
use a creole language, a local
dialect which is a mixture of
English and Mayan.
In some rural and jungle
areas, the natives speak Kekchi,
the Mayan of Yucateco and
the Mayan of Mopan. The
numerous Mennonite colony
speaks ancient German.
Along the coast are large
motor launches and rowboats
which unload cargo from ships
anchored a mile off the coast.
Imports consist of manufac-
tures, medicines, textiles, ma-
chinery, and cosmetics. Exports
are citrus, lumber and sugar.
Belize's economy,, tradi-
tionally based on lumber and
jungle products, is now being
oriented to agriculture. Existing
industries process native pro-
ducts: sawmills, citrus process-
ing plants and sugar mills.
Most of the sugarcane cut-
ters are brought from Mexico.
Belmopan promises to trans-
form the country's structures.
The new capital has facilitated
decentralization and could be
a symbol of independence.
_ 1IL II a s-U~9-C C r_-_
I I I --b
TAPIA PAGE 10
---r~-H-' ~+-5* -'
e i If'..
BIa a ^
The PUP's declared objec-
tive is"national independence".
Some believe that this inde-
pendence will be guaranteed by
Great Britain in case of danger;
others say that the people
should arm themselves. The
left-wing of the PUP, made up
of young revolutionaries, has
said that Belize "will not go
from a British colony to a US
George Price, 54, calls him-
self a "militant Catholic" who
wants "peaceful revolution",
he goes to Mass every day,
believes in class conciliation
and maintains an "open mind"
In his speeches he quotes
Kennedy, Nkrumah and Mao,
and uses passages from the
Bible and Carroll's "Alice in
Wohderland" when he visits
primary schools to explain the,
factors of growth.
The city of Belize is built
on a swampland. In 1961 three
hurricanes destroyed it. Hurri-
cane Hattie and dits toll of 266
deaths led authorities to found
a new capital in the interior:
SUNDAY OCTOBER 14, 1973
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For Zip pocket'd Bell Bottomed, Brush Denimed, Fitted Jeans by Botany; Shirts from
Wrangler pull-overs and platform Boots.
TAPIA PAGE I I
irs0 Andrea Talbutt,
Research Tnstitute for
Study of iin,
162, East 78th Street,
R YORK9, N.Y. 10021,
Ph. Lehigh 5 8448o
THEY PUT HOMETOWN
TRINIDAD WAS able to
beat the Robin Hood team
of Surinam only 2-nil last
Sunday. While Robin
Hood is a competent team,
they were certainly not a
match for Trinidad.
Crisp, precise passing
characterized their mid-
field play, and in that
respect they looked better
But Trinidad looked better
where it counts in the goal
area. The only trouble was
that the Trinidad team did
not exploit the innumerable
opportunities that came its
way. The will, it appeared, to
consumate an attacking move-
ment was just not there.
The Trinidad forwards
consistently got around de-
fenders and then nothing. Our
forwards were Cave, Brewster,
David and Cummings.
Cummings is one of our
great players who has just
returned from playing in the
American professional league.
He is a complete player and
his special asset is a powerful
shot. It was frustrating to see
that asset underutilised.
He was playing deep wait-
ing for passes backwards so
he could run on and shoot,
but those passes seldom came.
Steve David would hold on
to the ball unnecessarily long.
and lose it in the process.
Brewster, who started at
left wing and changed to the
right for most of the game
would make a brilliant run
down the wing, evade his back
and gently lob the ball to the
A faint cheer from the
sparse crowd would encourage
him in the futility.
The other forward, Cave,
is a trier. He is not a regular
member of the national
team as David and Brewster,
so he tried to come good, but
his game was lost somewhere
in the effort.
The forwards were sup-
ported by Douglas and Morgan
in the half line, -the latter
showing some improvement.
In his pre-Verity (the national
coach) days he impressed as a
fighting fit busybody who
didn't take time off to think.
In this match he made a
concerted effort to control
In the defence Texeira was
reasonable; Rondon and
Murren were superb, but the
left back Winston Phillip has
no right on a national team.
The flaws in his game are
fundamental; on one occasion
he shouted "Steve" in-
tendinrg to'pass the ball to
Steve David in centee-field
and the ball went bouncing
out to Brewster on the left
It is a mystery wh y he
is preferred to Henry Dennie
and Chris Pierre, although
their normal position is
stopper, not wingback.
The Oval ground was wet,
yet firm, an ideal playing
surface. Our footballers tend
to play better on a damp/firm
surface because they try to
play too fast, and on dry true
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surfaces ball control looks
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It is good to see that
Verity has succeeded in cool-
ing the tempo and the Oval
surface was accommodating.
If as I have suggested,
Trinidad's performance was
lethargic, that in no way re-
flects upon the competence
of the coach or the TFA's
efficiency. As a matter of
fact, Trinidad looked more
polished than ever in recent
years, especially Morgan.
The TFA has given Verity
more autonomy than it has
ever given a coach before.
But we can look at the
team's performance against
the background of the fact
that six of the 26 invitees for
national training refused to
put country before club.
Thep we see a situation
where national prestige is
meaningless; people are revert-
ing to primary loyalties.
The lethargy in our na-
tional team's performance is
only a reflection of that
of the Caribbeau
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